An expert in the law stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “What can one do to inherit anything?”
But the expert in the law didn’t understand and Jesus explained further. “Inheritance is not payment for services rendered. It is a gift given by a Father to his children. Therefore, to inherit eternal life you must be born into or adopted into God’s family.’
But the expert asked, “But what deeds must I do to be deemed worthy to be adopted into God’s family?”
Taken from “Not the Parable of the Good Samaritan”
I’ve heard too many sermons about we should be like the Good Samaritan, which is the complete polar opposite of the meaning of the parable!
The Pharisee didn’t understand inheritance – it is a gift – you cannot earn it.
The Pharisee asked what he should do to inherit eternal life. So Jesus asks him what he thinks and he answers with the greatest commandments.
Good answer. But at this point he should have said, “It is impossible to keep these commands! What hope is there for me?”
But instead, he believed he was able to keep the commands perfectly and thus earn his way to heaven. So Jesus tells the story to blow his ideas out of the water.
He gets the hated enemy of his people to help and put his life on the line by doing so (as the inn would have been in the heart of Jewish territory and it is only too obvious to Jews what they would have thought when they saw the Samaritan with a wounded Jew).
Surely the teacher of the law will now see that such love is impossible!
We cannot get into heaven by our own efforts. And also, without God’s help, we cannot show His perfect love to the world no matter how hard we try.
That’s why grace is so beautiful. It says I am accepted as I am.
And sanctification is even better. It says that by co-operating with the Holy Spirit in my life, I can be transformed from glory to glory in becoming perfect like my heavenly father is perfect.
But let us never again look at this parable to inspire or motivate us to greater works in our own efforts!
Not the Parable of the Good Samaritan contains 40 different takes on the original parable to snap us out of our over-familiarity and to open our eyes to the truth of the Gospel.
Satire to set your heart on fire.